The Many and the One: Religious and Secular Perspectives on Ethical Pluralism in the Modern World

Princeton University Press
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The war on terrorism, say America's leaders, is a war of Good versus Evil. But in the minds of the perpetrators, the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington were presumably justified as ethically good acts against American evil. Is such polarization leading to a violent "clash of civilizations" or can differences between ethical systems be reconciled through rational dialogue? This book provides an extraordinary resource for thinking clearly about the diverse ways in which humans see good and evil. In nine essays and responses, leading thinkers ask how ethical pluralism can be understood by classical liberalism, liberal-egalitarianism, critical theory, feminism, natural law, Confucianism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.

Each essay addresses five questions: Is the ideal society ethically uniform or diverse? Should the state protect, ban, or otherwise intervene in ethically based differences? How should disagreements on the rights and duties of citizens be dealt with? Should the state regulate life-and-death decisions such as euthanasia? To what extent should conflicting views on sexual relationships be accommodated? This book shows that contentious questions can be discussed with both incisiveness and civility. The editors provide the introduction and Donald Moon, the conclusion. The contributors are Brian Barry, Joseph Boyle, Simone Chambers, Joseph Chan, Christine Di Stefano, Dale F. Eickelman, Menachem Fisch, William Galston, John Haldane, Chandran Kukathas, David Little, Muhammad Khalid Masud, Carole Pateman, William F. Scheuerman, Adam B. Seligman, James W. Skillen, James Tully, and Lee H. Yearley.

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About the author

Richard Madsen is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author or coauthor of ten books, including Morality and Power in a Chinese Village. Tracy B. Strong is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego, and former Editor of Political Theory. He has published seven books, among them Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of Transformation.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jan 10, 2009
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9781400825592
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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From Plato through the nineteenth century, the West could draw on comprehensive political visions to guide government and society. Now, for the first time in more than two thousand years, Tracy B. Strong contends, we have lost our foundational supports. In the words of Hannah Arendt, the state of political thought in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has left us effectively “thinking without a banister.” Politics without Vision takes up the thought of seven influential thinkers, each of whom attempted to construct a political solution to this problem: Nietzsche, Weber, Freud, Lenin, Schmitt, Heidegger, and Arendt. None of these theorists were liberals nor, excepting possibly Arendt, were they democrats—and some might even be said to have served as handmaidens to totalitarianism. And all to a greater or lesser extent shared the common conviction that the institutions and practices of liberalism are inadequate to the demands and stresses of the present times. In examining their thought, Strong acknowledges the political evil that some of their ideas served to foster but argues that these were not necessarily the only paths their explorations could have taken. By uncovering the turning points in their thought—and the paths not taken—Strong strives to develop a political theory that can avoid, and perhaps help explain, the mistakes of the past while furthering the democratic impulse. Confronting the widespread belief that political thought is on the decline, Strong puts forth a brilliant and provocative counterargument that in fact it has endured—without the benefit of outside support. A compelling rendering of contemporary political theory, Politics without Vision is sure to provoke discussion among scholars in many fields.
The classics make great graduation gifts. Nearly two thousand years after it was written, Meditations remains profoundly relevant for anyone seeking to lead a meaningful life.

Few ancient works have been as influential as the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, philosopher and emperor of Rome (A.D. 161–180). A series of spiritual exercises filled with wisdom, practical guidance, and profound understanding of human behavior, it remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. Marcus’s insights and advice—on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity and interacting with others—have made the Meditations required reading for statesmen and philosophers alike, while generations of ordinary readers have responded to the straightforward intimacy of his style. For anyone who struggles to reconcile the demands of leadership with a concern for personal integrity and spiritual well-being, the Meditations remains as relevant now as it was two thousand years ago.

In Gregory Hays’s new translation—the first in thirty-five years—Marcus’s thoughts speak with a new immediacy. In fresh and unencumbered English, Hays vividly conveys the spareness and compression of the original Greek text. Never before have Marcus’s insights been so directly and powerfully presented.

With an Introduction that outlines Marcus’s life and career, the essentials of Stoic doctrine, the style and construction of the Meditations, and the work’s ongoing influence, this edition makes it possible to fully rediscover the thoughts of one of the most enlightened and intelligent leaders of any era.
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